Challenge Cup: Tony Smith welcomes Kevin Sinfield inclusion

Kevin Sinfield
Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield was sent off for the first time in his career against Castleford

Warrington coach Tony Smith says it would have been unfair if Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield had been suspended for their Challenge Cup semi-final.

Sinfield was sent off for the first time in his career during a 24-24 draw with Castleford Tigers last month.

The England skipper has completed a two-match ban and is free to face the Wolves at Langtree Park on Saturday.

"Any more than two games with his impeccable record would have been wrong," said Smith.

"We're pleased that he's back. We want them at their best and we want to be better."

Sinfield, who was shown a red card for headbutting Castleford's Luke Dorn, missed Leeds' Super League games with Salford and Bradford.

"It (the punishment) was adequate," added Smith, who coached 33-year-old Sinfield during his spells in charge of Leeds, Great Britain and England.

"Kev had a brain explosion there and it shows that he's a human being, just like all of us.

"Everyone knows I admire him greatly and I think most people in sport do. He plays fairly but he snapped."

Hull FC celebrate their Challenge Cup semi-final win over Warrington in 2013
Warrington hope to banish memories of last season's Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Hull FC

Smith led Warrington to Challenge Cup victories in 2009, 2010 and 2012, with the last two of those successes secured with final wins against Leeds, who have not lifted the trophy since 1999.

Sinfield, who missed out on a place in the team for the win over London Broncos at the old Wembley Stadium, is still looking for his first success in the competition.

The stand-off has been the losing captain in the final of the Challenge Cup on five separate occasions.

"The lads are in decent spirits. We didn't get the result we wanted against Bradford last Friday but we've regrouped now," he told BBC Look North.

"It hasn't been a great competition for us over the last few years but hopefully that will change.

"We can sit and dwell on it and be concerned about it or we can roll our sleeves up and get on with it. That is what we intend to do."

As part of a pilot scheme and in conjunction with the BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Manchester will be providing a live text service of their sports programme at on Saturday, 9 August from 14:00 BST.

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